If you want to know how to grout tile, look no further! Decorative trim tiles add a lot of interesting detail and beauty to a tile job, but their uneven profiles make them a pain to grout. If you use a grout float, you will probably end up with more grout on your floor than in the grout joints, and it will be difficult to work the grout into the joints properly.
How to Grout Tile
Instead of a grout float, use a pliable dense sponge (this came as packing material for my shower fixtures) or a shop rag. They will conform to the uneven surface of the tile and help work the grout into the joint.
Mix up a small amount of grout to the consistency of peanut butter, roughly 5 parts powder to one part water (follow proportions on your package). The grout should stick to your trowel when you turn it upside down and generally keep the same shape (think stiff egg whites, though much more dense). Let your grout slake—give it 5-10 minutes to rest. This allows the chemical reaction between cement and water to begin. Stir your grout again, it will feel a little more stiff and a bit “fluffy.”
Grout contains alkalies that are caustic to the skin so be sure to wear protective gloves!!! When you do get grout on your skin wipe it of with a dry towel or rag as repeated washing may increase the damage. At the end of the working period, wash the area with water or dilute vinegar until the soapy feeling has gone.
Working in small sections at a time rub and push grout into joints, go over the same area in multiple directions to ensure that each joint is well filled.
Once the grout begins to dry, use a damp grout sponge to wipe away excess grout and to tool the grout joints, rinsing sponge as necessary. If you notice voids or low spots take a small amount of grout and fill, then use the grout sponge to smooth again. Keep wiping until the grout joints are even and smooth. Once you are happy with the appearance of your grout, lightly wipe over tile with rinsed sponge to remove any remaining sand.
After the grout is fully dry use a cotton or microfiber cloth to buff off grout haze.
I use this same technique for grouting ceilings—I end up with less grout in my face than when I try to use a grout float. There you have it—an easy way to grout tile with a decorative profile.
In case you were thinking that I quickly knocked out a bathroom remodel…HA! This post was written by my sister, Julie who remodeled her bathroom and contributed this tutorial. I can’t wait to knock out my own master bath!
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